In 2014, the alarming number of massacres and disappearances of civilians by members of Mexico's police and armed forces in the context of the drug war began to reveal an undeniable pattern. By 2015 a national and international consensus had emerged that Mexico faced a human rights crisis. Today the commonplace use of violence, violations and firepower to attack drug cartels in the context of a militarized drug war has had disastrous effects on public safety, human rights and daily life. Rising violence against journalists has put them at risk and led to violations of freedom of expression and the right to information. Militarization is the cornerstone of Mexico's counter-narcotics programme. The largest deployment since the 'dirty war' of the 1980s began in December 2006 with the deployment of 45,000 soldiers into communities and cities throughout Mexico to fight the war on drugs.